In Windows, you have the option to keep data secure and private from other users and local user groups. Sometimes we might be required to share our device or some folders with multiple people on a local network. That is when we ought to have administrative permissions in place.
An Administrative user is entitled to change the permissions for files or folders to enable user-specific authorisation for essential files. So whenever non-authorized users try to access the secured files, they get the error message “Failed to Enumerate Objects in the Container. Access is denied.” in Windows 10.
However, the system admin users themselves may encounter the same error while trying to modify the file or folder permissions for other users, which could get a tad problematic.
But don’t worry, as this guide will show you how to resolve the ‘Failed to enumerate objects in the container’ error.
Why does this happen?
There could be a few potential reasons why you encounter the “Failed to enumerate objects in the container” error.
- It could be due to a conflicting clash between file and folder permissions.
- Erroneous configurations for folder settings.
- You don’t have the ownership permissions for the file or folder to make any changes.
- Third-party applications installed on your system may accidentally remove the default permissions for files and folders on your PC.
Most Common Fixes
Give a hand on the most common fixes to resolve the “Failed to enumerate objects in the container” error on your Windows 10 PC.
However, before trying these solutions, you need to create a restore point or backup your files. Attempting fixes to resolve this error could lead to changes in your system files and folders configuration, causing the system to crash or misbehave.
Change the Ownership of problematic files and folders manually
It is the most common and recommended fix suggested even by the Windows and Microsoft experts. You can manually change the ownership permissions of a file or folder for which you’re getting this error. Most users have benefitted highly from this fix.
You must be logged in as an Administrator to implement this solution successfully.
Step 1: Right-click on the file or folder for which you get this error. From the drop-down, click on the Properties option.
Step 2: Choose the Security tab.
Step 3: Click on the Advanced button in the bottom right corner.
Step 4: On the Advanced Windows Security Settings page, click on the Change link against the Owner information details.
Step 5: Type the user’s name below the field, Enter the object name to select. Your system should automatically detect the user and underline it.
Step 6: However, if the system does not underline your username, click on the Advanced button in the bottom left corner to manually select a username.
Step 7: On the new page, click on the Find Now button on the right end of the screen. You will get a list of users appearing below the Search Results field.
Step 8: Select the user to whom you want to give the ownership of the file or folder, and then click on OK.
Step 9: The original Select User or Group window will show up. You will see the owner name for the file or folder under the heading, Enter the object name to select. The owner’s name would appear underlined. Now, click on the OK button to commit these changes.
Step 10: Once back on the Advanced Security Settings window pane, pick the checkbox labelled with Replace owner on sub containers and objects.
Step 11: Also, check the checkbox against the label, Replace all child object permissions entries with inheritable permission entries from this object to enable it.
Step 12: Click on the Apply button to make changes effective, followed by the OK button.
Step 13: To give full access to the chosen user account for the selected file or folder, reopen the Properties page.
Step 14: Go to the Security tab and choose the Advanced option.
Step 15: Click on the Add button from the bottom left corner.
Step 16: A Permissions Entry window will open. Choose the option titled Select a principle as shown below.
Step 17: Repeat the same steps as 6 to 9 to choose the user account.
Step 18: Check the checkbox against the label, Full control, on the Permission Entry Window and click on the OK button.
As the ownership settings for the file or folder are now in place, you can tweak the permissions without encountering the Failed to enumerate object in the container error.
Disable the User Account Control Settings
If the above method doesn’t help resolve your problem of setting the ownership for files or folders. You can modify the UAC (User Account Control) settings using the below steps.
Only use this method if you’re unable to change the ownership details for the file or folder using the first method.
Step 1: Type Change User Account Control settings in the search of the Start bar.
Step 2: A User Account Settings window will appear. A slider bar on the left end with a range between the Always notify and Never notify options. Scroll down the slider to the Never Notify option and click on the OK button.
Step 3: A User Access Control window might pop up to confirm the UAC changes made in step 2. Click on the Yes button.
Step 4: Restart your PC again. Then follow the steps provided under the above method to change the ownership of a file or folder.
Utilise Command Prompt
When the above approaches don’t work out for you, fix the ‘Failed to enumerate objects in the container. Access is denied’ error by using the Command Prompt to execute a set of commands to fix this issue. This will also need admin access.
Step 1: Open the Command Prompt window from the search bar in admin mode by choosing the Run as Administrator mode.
Step 2: Click Yes if you get a UAC prompt on your screen, stating Allow the command prompt to make changes on your device.
Step 3: Next, run the following set of commands in a sequence and press Enter after each command.
takeown /F X:\FULL_PATH_TO_FOLDER takeown /F X:\FULL_PATH_TO_FOLDER /r /d y icacls X:\FULL_PATH_TO_FOLDER /grant Administrators:F icacls X:\FULL_PATH_TO_FOLDER /grant Administrators:F /t
Once done, close the Command Prompt window and try changing the permissions for the file or folder and opening the file to see if the error is gone.
Replace the X:\FULL_PATH_TO_FOLDER value with the actual path of your file or folder from the system.
Safe Mode in Windows 10
Safe mode allows easy modification without hampering system files. Here is how to use Safe mode to resolve the error.
Step 1: Press Shift Key and click on the Power button from the Start menu.
Step 2: Choose the Restart option from the list while holding the Shift Key.
Step 3: When your system restarts, you get a message on the screen to Choose an option. Click on Troubleshoot here.
Step 4: Now, choose the Advanced option.
Step 5: Under the Advanced option, select the Startup Settings option.
Step 6: On the Startup Settings screen, select the Restart option on the screen.
Step 7: Your PC will restart again. After restart, you’ll see the startup options for your PC. Either choose the Enable Safe Mode or Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt option.
Once you log in to your system in Safe Mode, try to execute the fix described in Method 1 again.
Execute the Chkdsk Command
If you’re unable to resolve the issue with the takeown.exe commands and icacls.exe commands, even when your system boots up in the Safe Mode, it suggests that your file system must be corrupt. Therefore, try running the Chkdsk command on the affected drive.
For example, to run Chkdsk on the C:\ drive, execute the CHKDSK /R C:\ command from the administrator Command Prompt. The Chkdsk command will be in effect at the next boot. After reboot, check if the error is fixed for you.
Prachi is working with a multinational IT organisation and aspires to triumph in the field of Data Science. As a Freelance Writer, she writes about technical elements and tech guides for daily operated applications and is typically familiar with Windows or application errors. She fascinates by writing prose and short poetry in her free time.
When not found writing, she indulges herself in reading fine literature or baking delightful treats. She fancies creative stirs and has a crafty and decorative touch to herself. And to kill her time, she does sketching and enjoys her favourite playlist with a hot, brewed cup of coffee.